Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Friggin Love Nilo Cruz!

Ok! I said it! I have yet to finished Beauty of the Father, but thus far I would gladly direct anything I've read Anna in the Tropics, Two Sisters and a Piano, Lorca in the Green Dress, Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams, but especially... especially A Bicycle Country... I am just so captivated by that Script!

Thoughts and Reverberations on Permanence

"The human experience is larger than that of a singular theatrical production, but it's transient nature is exactly the same. From the beginning of anything - a life, a house, a relationship - everything struggles on in a continual state of slow decay. Nothing in human experience is designed to be permanent and yet we strive so heroically and so futilely to sustain it indefinitely, as if shear will will keep the train chugging along and if we Really Believe, we will never die.

Perhaps, if instead of fighting against this inevitable finality of things we embraced it, then the time spent with them [fellow theatrical artists per specific production] would be brighter, more important. When people have near death experiences, they tend to go on living their days with more meaning. If you knew that today was it, the last day, that the show closes at midnight, would you waste a second on the bullshit? Would you argue about petty things? Would you make excuses for incompetence or laziness or incompleteness of purpose?"

For good or bad, tomorrow does impact today.
Does anticipation handicap improvisation? Not just the hopefully humorous or poignant or bountiful idea that springs from your personal ephemera out through your mouth. lungs, and limbs... The manner in which you decide on which impulse, instinct, and inspiration to act upon.
If you can call no man happy until he is dead, then perhaps the man who can die daily with the setting sun has something to teach us.

But it is part of the paradox isn't it? You must anticipate some of the time. You must anticipate the moment before the broth boils over, before the chicken burns in the pan, before the comedic bit gets too repetitive.


But, you must also allow for moments when the risk... is truly a risk. You must be able to talk to the most attractive person in the bar regardless of the possibility of rejection. You must embrace the rehearsal, putting out of your mind the implication of performance.

Again though paradox... because moderation is a tool as well.


Duende

Look it up, and then tell me if it helps or if you think it's crap

Monday, June 29, 2009

On Nudity

Recent projects have gotten me meditating on nudity and its place in live theater.
First off, my gut instinct is that if you are using nudity onstage to be sexy you are cruising for disappointment. Our collective conscious has been hammered by so many fetishized images of allure and beauty, images that are so prepared, flesh that is so qualified that most folks who are willing to disrobe will never be able to illicit the same degree of passionate attraction that airbrushed celebrity sculpted into fashionable perfection can. The truth of the matter is that 99.9% of the time your eyes' truest desire regardless of fashion or youth just doesn't hold up under the gleam of a fluorescent or a 1000 watt follow spot. That is why someone invented lingerie. So nudity onstage for mere titillation... is not the best option. Honestly, if titillation is your goal, you'd do better to turn out all the lights and let the actors breath heavy in the dark.

So why use nudity? Or even implied nudity in a scene? In my opinion, the reason to use is purely as a storytelling device. Luridness, partial nudity, staged intimacy... all of these representations must serve story. And it must also serve the story that the telling is trying to convey, not as how the spectator would rather prefer.

Sometimes, it is not nudity that offends or generates consternation/provocation, it is the narrative the accompanies nudity. For example, a nude actor inhabits the empty space in a staged parable about the garden of eden... how does that compare to a fully clothed actor who plays out the representation of a rape murder scene. What if nudity never happens, but heavy petting occurs between the characters... then again how people feel about such portrayal is perceived as exploitative completely based on the resolution of the protagonist.

We each have our own set rules for why or when, nudity, sensuality, etc are relevant or acceptable on stage. What are yours.

What are some instances general or specific where nudity (actual or implied) became an issue for you or your collaborators during a workshop, rehearsal, etc.? What are your rules when it comes to nudity, touching, sensuality, etc onstage?

Monday, June 22, 2009

FINGER
ACT TWO SCENE FIVE

ACT TWO
SCENE FIVE

(BIRDY runs in and embraces SNAIL)

BIRDY
I didn't think I could do it. But I did

SNAIL
Shhhh! Relax tell me what happened.

BIRDY
I smashed her phone. I shattered her world.

SNAIL
It must have been incredibly difficult for you.

BIRDY
It was

(SNAIL feels the knife beneath BIRDY'S shirt)

SNAIL
What is that?

BIRDY
A gift?

SNAIL
An offering?

BIRDY
Not exactly

SNAIL
(more assumption than question)
For me.

BIRDY
No, it was a gift for me

SNAIL
Birdy, why would you bring that here.

BIRDY
Well, it does get hairy in here sometimes.

SNAIL
Is that her blood on the tip?

BIRDY
She cut herself. She threatened to cut her even more. If I dared to leave her.

SNAIL
Allow me to be everything you need. You're with me. You know who I am. What I can do. Allow me... (she allows him to take the knife away. He hands it to a gang member who throws it in the garbage dumpster outside. BOXMAN sees this from a distance. He shakes his head, and disappears.)

(BIRDY is sucking SNAIL'S finger. His gang looks on. BIRDY is oblivious only focusing on the need for his secretion)

SNAIL
Where is she?

BIRDY
I left her. She is in a coma.

SNAIL
You must bring her to me

BIRDY
But, why?

SNAIL
We will use her

BIRDY
How?

SNAIL
You will bring her to me

BIRDY
I thought you wanted me

SNAIL
I do. But I need her too.

BIRDY
You can't have us both. What was the point of me harming her or me shattering her world if all you wanted me to do was bring her with me. The point was so that I could get away.

SNAIL
You will not bring her to me?

BIRDY
You ask too much

(SNAILMAN signals to his gang who gather their hunting party)

SNAIL
Perhaps, you are ready to become one of us. I thought that once you had severed your connection to your sister, you'd ripen, I thought you'd evolve. But you are either with her or your with us. We need her, we need her muscle, her bone, her tissue...(referring to the secretion from his finger)...where else do you think this comes from... something this special requires serious sacrifice. I'll ask you one more time...where is your sister.

BIRDY
(Struggling against the effect of the drug)
Fuck you.

(BIG BOUNCER throws the bag over her head. She screams. blackout)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Seeing some theatre. Hey Theatre! You better be awesome!

Going back to the theatre this weekend to see two shows I am pretty excited about... 500 clown and the Elephant Deal also the Hypocrites' production of Oedipus.

It has been a while since I've had a big theatre weekend like that (not since before Devils Don't Forget rehearsals).

Might even catch a third show tomorrow... haven't decided yet. I might rather go see "UP". Everyone has talked to me about how good a Pixar joint it is.

What are some shows you are dying to see in the near future?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

FINGER Act 2 Scene 6

(Darkness)

TURTLE
What happened? I can't move.

(She struggles and can only move her neck alittle bit.)

Am I dead? Am I in heaven with Mamma

(BOXMAN scats quietly gently, and then...)

BOXMAN
The doctor says not yet angel. Not yet.

TURTLE
Who is that?!! I cant see!

BOXMAN
That is because you refuse to open your eyes.

TURTLE
Help me.

BOXMAN
I'm trying Turtle Girl.

(BOXMAN blows gently on her lids. They open. TURTLE starts hyperventilating)

BOXMAN
You seem excited to see me.

TURTLE
I can't move

BOXMAN
I know. That's why I'm here.

TURTLE
Who are you?

BOXMAN
I am all you got. Baby, I am the only thing keeping the snails at bay. I'm the one who knows everything about you and your sister and your mama and how you misfortunate females got into the predicament you are in.

(TURTLE Spits at him. He giggles.)

BOXMAN
Ohhh she got some spit left in her boys. Enough moisture to make a fine meal for those mollusks slip sliding at the front and back door.

TURTLE
I hate you!
BOXMAN
Baby you dont even know me

TURTLE
The riddle you tell must mean one thing. You are our father!
BOXMAN
Nope nope nope

TURTLE
You stood up a good woman and left her in a dangerous world to care for two kids all by herself, and she died man! She died trying! And it is your fault for abandoning us.

BOXMAN
I suppose I can understand your desire to pin me to such a stereotypical assignation, but honey I'm here to tell ya...every old man you meet aint your Dad.

TURTLE
Then how do you know about us?

BOXMAN
Well, I did know your Mother, but mostly I got my information straight from your sister. Birdy talks in her sleep.

Besides how could I be your father when my feelings for you aren't paternal.

(He starts posing her body like a mannequin, and taking pictures.)
TURTLE
No...no...help! help!

BOXMAN
All I want is a little chance to enhance my fantasy file.

TURTLE
Oh no! What's happening?!? Help!
BOXMAN
(Stops) I know you'll never love an old dog like me, but cant I at least look at you? You might be paralyzed, but you are still the quintessence of fetching femininity.

TURTLE
Oh...oh please...just kill me...just let me die.

BOXMAN
I know hyperbole when I hear it girl, and trust me you aint ready to die.
TURTLE
Yes! Yes am I! I've lost everything.

BOXMAN
Baby this aint rock bottom. Trust me. Look at these eyes. They know from rock bottom. Is aint even half way there. For example, let me display exhibit A.

(BOXMAN goes over to the window and pulls the blinds. TURTLE can barely bend her neck and sees various of the SNAILMAN'S GANG wandering around outside they are slow moving and lost in a fog they are carrying various cutlery and trying to find to TURTLE)

These guys can show you Rock Bottom. And if you truly wish to die. I can open the door and they'll oblige you.
TURTLE
Oh no! No! no no

BOXMAN
That's what I thought darling

TURTLE
What do you want?

BOXMAN
Just a couple of pictures for the sake of scientific inquiry, and I'll stem the tide. It is the only payment I request for your protection

TURTLE
You're Birdy's Boxman aren't you?

BOXMAN
Guilty as charged

TURTLE
Protection from who

BOXMAN
Your sisters new attendants

TURTLE
What difference does it make she is gone and she's killed me

BOXMAN
But you're stilling breathing right? You still have your breath?

TURTLE
She took away Mama

(He holds the shards of cellphone)

BOXMAN
How much do you remember about your mother? She wasn't a fan of polishing the stairwell. She was the kind of gal who stroked the bull

TURTLE
You shut up about my mother!

BOXMAN
I could tell you some stories about your mother.

TURTLE
Mama was a saint. She was an angel. She sacrificed everything for the two of us. She died trying to make a better, cleaner life for me and Birdy.

BOXMAN
That is true. But was really the shining example you remember she to be. What kind of living did she do? Why are you so set as to fulfill a life, your own moher couldn't led. So certain that you have driven away your only family.

TURTLE
Shut up! Shut up!

BOXMAN
I will not! I made a promise to mama a long time ago. I told her I'd check up on you two. I didn't really need to until as of late. I probably wasnt in any condition most of the time to do any good for you anyway.

TURTLE
Mama would never have a thing to do with you.

BOXMAN
Is this what you think Mama wanted? (points to TURTLE'S clothes) Donna Reed Dress and Pearl Necklace? Dinner at 6, Ed Sullivan at 7, fast asleep beneath carefully folded sheets by 9? You have forgotten your Mama. Who she really was. You have forgotten yourself. I am going to show you. Now, I am getting a little kick out of this, but just relax I promise to stop short of second base.

(He takes off the dress, underneath it TURTLE is dressed all punk)

That dress never fit you anyway.

TURTLE
It was Mama's

BOXMAN
The irony is it never fit her neither. You, Birdy, and your mama... you are all birds of a feather. It is no wonder you dont recall. The sky fell on top of her. And your little eyes saw the whole thing. She used to pose for me.

(He hold a photo up for TURTLE to see)

See, no Donna Reed dress. She was wild. Like Birdy. Like you too used to be, before you bottled it all up and stuffed it into a turtle's shell. See you three have a little bit of blood in ya from one of the birds of prey. A little wild streak of blood. It makes you fly. It makes you dance. If your mother had lived, I think she'd realize you can't cage a that kind of bird. Not for long. It goes crazy insane. Like you did. Like Birdy might have too.

(We hear the sound of the SNAIL gang. They break down the door. BOXMAN and BOY BITCH square off. We'll have a little snappy dialogue here between them. I'll work on it later. BOXMAN fights them all, killing them.)

BOXMAN
That's it. It's done. At least my part.

TURTLE
Don't go! Please! Don't leave me. I have no one.

BOXMAN
I've done what I can. I stopped the falling of sky as much as I am able. The rest is up to you two. I don't know if birdy will come back, but if she does. You got to let her be whom ever the bird of prey wants her to be.

(BOXMAN steps outside. We see his shadow. He rips off a huge piece of the box, eats it and transforms into a comet that shoots off into space.)

Questions? Artists...

In what ways do you express your enthusiasm for the process while in its midst?

Do you take it for granted that everyone is enjoying your contributions?

Do you send out emails when interesting ideas and directions occur to you?

Do you sit on them for a while and only present them when face to face?

Do you pull folks aside and whisper in their ear?

Do you insist on voicing concerns immediately?

If you concede, when do you?

If you don't, how do you manage it?

Are the kind of person who thinks that once the metaphor of conflict arises the game is lost?

Do you secretly enjoy/need opposition in order to establish your own position?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Finger Act 2 Scene 4

Act 2 Scene 4

TURTLE
Stay back

BIRDY
What is wrong with you?

TURTLE
I saw you. I saw you last night

BIRDY
What do mean

(TURTLE plays back the audiovisual of BIRDY'S last line from their previous scene while holding the knife)

BIRDY
I'm sorry

TURTLE
She's coming Mother. She is getting closer.

I told you to stay back

(TURTLE plays another mp3 of MOTHER)

MOTHER
Play is OK, but play safe

(BIRDY takes out the knife and sets it on the ground)

BIRDY
There...there...alright?!

TURTLE
How do I know it isn't a trick

(BIRDY goes to her space and starts collecting her things)

BIRDY
I was hoping it wouldn't have to be like this

TURTLE
What?!

BIRDY
Saying goodbye.

TURTLE
You're leaving? You can't.

BIRDY
Yes I can!

TURTLE
I wont let you.

BIRDY
How are you going to stop me?

TURTLE
I wont stop you. Mother will.

( BIRDY grabs Cellphone)

BIRDY
Wake up! Mother isn't inside this thing! This isn't a magic shell holding her soul! It is a fucking cellphone. It is just a bunch of recorded messages from a dead women. She's dead Turtle.

TURTLE
Don't say that

BIRDY
We're alive.

TURTLE
I don't want to be alone

BIRDY
Wont you always have Mama?!

(TURTLE picks up the knife and aims it at her own heart)

TURTLE
Is this what you want?

BIRDY
Turtle put the knife down.

TURTLE
No

BIRDY
Put it down or I'll...smash it (referring to the cellphone)

TURTLE
No..no..no

BIRDY
Don't do it!

(TURTLE screams she starts to push the knife in just a little bit)

TURTLE
Stay!!!!

BIRDY
Drop the knife or I'll do it!

(TURTLE cuts a little deeper. BIRDY smashed the cellphone. TURTLE drops the knife. Crawls to the remains of the cellphone.)

TURTLE
Mama? Mama...

(TURTLE is paralyzed, comatose. BIRDY runs over to her. She doesn't know what to do. She collects her things including the knife and runs away. She leaves the door open and we can see the sky is falling outside.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Where is all this FINGER stuff coming from?

So I've been asked where a lot of this crazy imagery in PUT MY FINGER IN YOUR MOUTH (PMFIYM) is coming from. People read a little of it and laugh or roll their eyes. I know it is bizarre, but there is something more being attempted than sheer insanity for the sake if itself. There is method and even contextuality, not mere madness.

I realized that the Snailman was something meant to invoke a sort of Naked Lunch persona. I have found myself frequently lost in those pages where strange sorts of invertebrate hybrids are peddling kicks sexual, pharmaceutical, etc. More folks know of it without have read it, or have only seen the Cronenberg film (wonderful but not really like the book). A lot of Burroughs work is populated with drugged up sci fi characters resembling Snailman.

But the Snailman's origins are not only found there. The idea of him and his club hold high debt to Jack Smith and all the still and archival film excerpts I've seen of Flaming Creatures, Normal Love, etc. I wanted to make those club/rave scenes a cross between Jack Smith's Normal Love and Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights (add in some dashes of Ren & Stimpy as well).

Some of the other insanity comes from the given circumstance of conversations over dinners and drinks with various friends while talking about the project. I like taking the various odds and ends of anecdotes the participants share with me and transforming them into crazy chaotic collage, the way Max Ernst would cut up and reassemble wood block prints, advertisements from periodicals and catalogs, etc.

Other influences are apparent as they are noted in the stage directions. Robert Crumb, Joseph Cornell, David Bowie's Glam.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Today - Seven Snakes... Tomorrow - Put My Finger In Your Mouth

A little later today, a few friends and myself will begin the workshop process for SEVEN SNAKES. I am very excited by this. I've been thinking about this story, or more specifically images from within the story for nearly a decade.

This workshop is actually the second major step in what has been my process to see if these images can be culled into a captivating narrative.

It is a little overwhelming right now... trying to fulfill this project while attempting to also complete the first full draft of PUT MY FINGER IN YOUR MOUTH which, so far as I know, begins rehearsals tomorrow.

So much for getting back to just baseball this summer! Actually, it is wonderful to be so involved in art during the summer!

Friday, June 12, 2009

PUT MY FINGER IN YOUR MOUTH
Act 2 Scene 3

Act 2 Scene 3

BIRDY is standing outside the SNAILMAN'S club. It is dusk. She's see a cardboard box and thinks it is the BOXMAN. She takes the knife out and starts yelling at the box.

BIRDY
Hey! Hey! What is this huh? What the hell am I supposed to do with this? Do you hear me!?...Hey I'm talking to you!

BIRDY kicks the box. It falls over empty. She jumps back a little shocked. She doesn't know what to do. She goes through the box trying to see if she can find anything of the BOXMAN'S. She finds a couple of dirty sketches. Nothing else. The door to the club falls open, slightly ajar. We hear a little music from inside.

BIRDY goes to the door. She is unsure.

BIRDY
Do it. Do it.

(She looks at her tattoo)

Action

(She enters the club. Once inside she can see that there is no party yet.The various members of the Snailman's gang are still cleaning up from the riot last night. Various Furrie heads are either hanging on pikes or mounted on the wall as trophy. There are still small hints of the violence from last night, specks of blood split here and there, but they are trying wash it away and get the place back into shape for a new night of partying tonight. Once BIRDY is inside, the various members of the gang stop what they are doing one by one and stare coldly at BIRDY until everyone is silently starring at her. No movement just staring. BIRDY starts backing out for the door, but before she can get out BOY BITCH suddenly appears and closes the door. )

BOY BITCH
(To gang)
What are you guys looking at?! This club's not going to clean itself (snaps fingers) The house opens in a hour. Lets pick up the pace. This place better get spic and span fast!(They turn away from BIRDY and return to their work)

BOY BITCH
Birdy! What are you doing here?

BIRDY
The door was open...I'm sorry...I'll just

BOY BITCH
Stop stop stop... I just mean it is early. We haven't had a chance to you know...put our face on.

BIRDY
I wondered. I mean since I didn't see anybody

BOY BITCH
Oh they'll be here, Birdy. Trust me. Just cause you don't see them now, doesn't mean they aren't coming. This place and every body in it is going to be coming in a couple hours (pause)
It's OK. You don't have to giggle at my little joke.

BIRDY
I'm sorry.

BOY BITCH
Jesus Birdy! Reeeeelax, alright? Didn't I tell you that you were well liked?

BIRDY
I know

(There is some sort of signal...maybe a music cue, maybe a gong, something)

BOY BITCH
In fact, I know a certain special someone who wants to have a bit of private time with a another certain special little someone else.

BIRDY
Snail?

BOY BITCH
(winks at her)
Shhhhhh!

(BOY BITCH leads her past some velvet ropes into the SNAILMAN'S private booth aka SNAIL'S SPACE.

SNAIL
Before anything else, I want an opportunity to apologize for my accusation last night. I think you should know that I almost never ever behave like that. It was an extenuating circumstance.

BIRDY
Who were those guys

SNAIL
It doesn't matter.

BIRDY
Come on! That was like a full scale war last night. I want to know.

(SNAIL gives her a short tense look, and then composes himself)

SNAIL
Just a ghost from the past that we never need worry ourselves over again.

BIRDY
It scared the crap out of me

SNAIL
Can we drop it!?!!! (beat) I'm sorry. Do you see? You see how even thinking about that Furrie infuriates? I'd like to change the subject. Immediately if not sooner.

BIRDY
Well, you bought it up

SNAIL
I know, and now I'm putting it back down. Understand. Lets put it down.

(BIRDY looks around. She sees the BOUNCER who notices that something is amiss between her and the SNAILMAN. BOUNCER shows BIRDY the bag he used to throw over the head of the girl he bounced out in the first scene. BIRDY looks back at SNAIL. She is going to say something. He puts up his finger to gently shush her. When she sees the finger she can't help but focus on it. Her body on a cellular level wants it.)

BIRDY
I want another fingerful of that stuff you got.

SNAIL
You and everybody else

BIRDY
Hey... I thought I was well liked here?

SNAIL
You are well liked, but are we sre whether or not I'm out of your league?

BIRDY
Stow the conceded crap fella.

SNAIL
How can we determine whether of not you qualify?

BIRDY
Qualify for what, a finger full of snail cocktail?

SNAIL
Birdy, I am looking for my soulmate. I'm looking for someone to share all this with?

BIRDY
What are you saying?

SNAIL
I wont know if this thing I'm feeling is something more until I.... kiss you. Kiss me Birdy, I want to see. I want to know if this thing I feel between you and me is real.

(She hesitated then kisses him. Once the kiss is over, he gives her his finger. She puts it in her mouth.)

BIRDY
I want it. I want it all. Give it to me.

SNAIL
I want to know where you're at every minute of every day. When I'm not with you, I get jealous thinking about who you might be with. You're so different from all the other girls.

BIRDY
What a minute....How many other girls?

SNAIL
I've been seeking someone special for quite some time. It's not like you can call out for true love.

BIRDY
Love?

SNAIL
Birdy I think it might be you. You might be the one for me. I want you here where I can give you the finger anytime I want.

(BIRDY giggles still nursing the finger)

BIRDY
Awkward. I can't believe I was scared.

SNAIL
Scared?

BIRDY
Scared to come here. Scared to seek you out... to be here with you.

(BIRDY sucks the finger dry. She goes for another kiss and then to another finger on his other hand.)

BIRDY
I've been so confused. I've cried myself to sleep wondering if you even noticed me. Really noticed me.

SNAIL
I noticed you. I noticed you that first night. You were so vibrant, so different, so pert...so special. You are very special to me. Perhaps it is too soon for me to say that, but I can't help myself.

BIRD
I need a change. I need something new. I think I might need you too.

SNAIL
Are you ready for everything that it would entail?

BIRDY
Like what?

SNAIL
Are you prepared to leave everyone else behind?

BIRDY
I'll go back and collect my things.

SNAIL
But, it isnt as easy as that

BIRDY
What? I'll just get my things and slip my key bac under the door.

SNAIL
You are sisters, are you not?

BIRDY
Yes.

SNAIL
There is always something permanent, something binding about sisters. Isn't there something that binds you two together. Something magically perhaps?

BIRDY
I don't understand?

SNAIL
An amulet? You have to figure out what it is and destroy it. So long as she has this thing this amulet, she will have power over you. She'll use it to hold on to you and never let go. If we are going to be together for ever then we both have to be able to sever the ties to the world and people we knew before.

BIRDY
Isn't that a little Jimmy Jonesy?

SNAIL
Leave.

BIRDY
What? Why?

SNAIL
Consider my offer. consider what I've said. Find the amulet, the small thing that holds her to you and destroy it. Until then, we can never be together.

(Like a hurricane wind, something sweeps BIRDY up and despoits her back outside the club door. The door is still a jar. She inches towards it. It slams shut. SNAIL'S voice echos in the blackout)

SNAIL
Consider....consider...consider my offer.

FavoriteThingsThisWeek



Thursday, June 11, 2009

CoolQuote - On Literature

"Literature is made upon any occasion that a challenge is put to the legal appartus by conscience in touch with humanity"

-Nelson Algren

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Question for the Theatrosphere

Question - Please tell me what 3 theatre related blogs that are must reads for you.

FINGER Act 2 Scene 2

Scene Two

(Moments before dawn. BIRDY staggers in. She walks to TURTLE'S SPACE which is zippered up. There is a note taped to the canvas. BIRDY reads it out loud.)

BIRDY
Do not disturb. No more breakfast on demand. I'm done being the maid.

(BIRDY crumples up the note. She peaks into the hole. TURTLE seems asleep. BIRDY goes over to her space and cries a little. TURTLE peaks her head out one of the holes. She wants to go to BIRDY but doesn't. BIRDY picks up the stuffed animal she talked to in Act One and confides)

BIRDY
And then he said 'You are well liked here'. And then I said 'But you wouldn't let me in the other night', and then he said 'We are so sorry Birdie. Wont you led the gang in the next dance'

It felt so...right. And then Snail magically appeared and we danced together and it was... perfect.

I don't know

I...I...I don't know if I can go back or not.

It got bad. It got really bad.

No, he didn't hurt me.

No, I fine...I just (crying)

No, I don't want to.

Because she'll just yell at me. She doesn't understand.

(The amulet cellphone quietly peeks out.)

I wish you were right. I wish you were.

No...no...she won't. She is ashamed of me. She won't even try to see it my way.

I'll admit I've made some mistakes, but that is not going stop me. It is not going to make me hide.When they read back the book that was written about who I was and what I did, I don't want it to read...Birdy was a good girl who never got into any trouble and as a result never had an exciting day in her life. Among Birdy's skill set were washing dishes, cleaning windows, and she was the most reliable babysitter. Fuck that. Fuck that! (catches herself)I want them to say here was wild child unlike any other that has come this way before. That when offered a chance at adventure, Birdy always said yes!

No. I can't.

Because I can't. I need her. I mean I'm not an idiot. Look at me. I'm a mess. I know that. But I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to live like this.

Not any more.

Why? Because...Back then I was just a kid. I had to do what she told me to. When I think about the kind of life I might be living without her acting as a roadblock to me from myself...

(BIRDY points in TURTLE'S direction.)
Sometimes, I hate Turtle. I hate what she has become, and what she would has become of me!(A quiet prayer to her sister who, she thinks is not listening)Don't make me hate you Turtle! Don't make me hate you!

(BIRDY feels the bag that BOXMAN put inside her shirt. She takes it out and opens it. It is a big salt shaker/grinder and a knife.)

FINGER Act II Scene 1

ACT TWO

SCENE ONE

(In the darkness we hear BOXMAN laughing then he breaks out into 'SUDDENLY' lights then rise. BIRDY is still passed out but she has been propped up on a garbage can. Beneath her on bended knee is BOXMAN humming the song. He takes one of her shoes off. He sees her Tattoo.)

BOXMANLike Mother like Daughter

(He begins massaging BIRDY'S foot.)

You are a dreamer aren't you? Wishing wishing wishing that they'd name constellations after stations of adventure and suspense you'd populate your autobiography with.

(He then wiggles her toes one at a time. She is slow to return to consciousness. She pushes at him lazily to back off.)

BIRDYNo...no...come on man...don't be that guy.

BOXMANI'm looking at five tasty reasons why I want to be that guy.

(BIRDY is groggy. Barely able to stay awake. BOXMAN tears off a piece of his box and offers it to her.)

BOXMAN
Relax Birdy Girl. Here. Have a trippy biscuit.

(BIRDY takes it.)

BOXMAN
What the heck are you doing on the stoop? Did beauty get the boot again?

BIRDY
They think I'm responsible for the riot last.

BOXMAN
Was it a riot?! Full scale fisticuffs? Did my machinations give devastation to that snail snot factory?

BIRDY
What?

BOXMAN
I'm the guy. The puppeteer. The engineer. I'm the candyman who could break a pane of glass and sneak all that foxy fine randy man furrie action into the slowman's domain. I knew it'd go against the grain but I had no idea It'd break out into a full on donnybrook.

BIRDY
People got hurt! Maybe even killed...

(BIRDY wants to get up and confront BOXMAN but she doesn't have the power.)

BOXMAN
Shit happens Bird girl. You keep walking on the not so sunny side of street and that is a lesson you better learn and quick. Duck and Bob. Bob and Weave. Weave and Duck. Hookie Pookie out of the path of the screaming bullets.

BIRDY
He thinks I'm responsible

BOXMAN
I wasn't trying to trip up your rep. I just couldn't pass up an opportunity to shit in the snailman's cherrios.

BIRDY
Well, you might of really fucked my shit up

BOXMAN
Birdgirl, I'd hoped you'd have learned by now you got options when it comes to getting your kicks. You oughta care a whole lot less about what that snail thinks of you anyway.

(It is difficult but she gets up to go)

BIRDY
Alright! Alright!

BOXMAN
A snail aint nothing but a rat in slow motion

BIRDY
A rat wont get you high.

BOXMAN
You know that for a fact?

BIRDY
Yeah, I'm pretty sure

BOXMAN
You ever smoked a rat?

BIRDY
Hey grandpa, just cause you smell like crap doesn't mean you got to speak it

BOXMAN
Aint you a pip? Aint you a sty in the eye?

BIRDY
You know, I dont need this. I get all you can eat of this kind of shit at home.

BOXMAN
Too much of Turtle's cooking?

BIRDY
How do you know about her?

BOXMAN
(blows off the question. As BOXMAN delivers his monologue, BIRDY starts falling back to sleep slowly. )
Have you ever observed that there is a difference between a turtle's shell and a snail's? A turtle's shell can feel confining.

BIRDY
How do you know about Turtle?

BOXMAN
But there are a least a couple ways to crawl out if you had to. Not so with a snail's shell. No doubt it is much prettier. No doubt at all. But once you take your first turn in, there is no where to go but deeper down, another turn and another, and that sexy strip, that tunnel gets narrower and narrower. The portal shrinks and so to does your will to ever climb out. That aint get high bird girl. That's falling low. You'll glaze over. You'll swim in the slime. The KY turns to crisco. The goodtimes get clogged out. Your will to set out and be your own bird will just evaporate. And that is when you'll be at the mercy of that mollusk. I seen it. And believe me, you are just the prettiest little thing I ever seen. You make me want to save up for those hair plugs, but after a month of dunking into that smile and slipping further down the snail curve, the apple of this cheek will lose its shine. And then someone is going to take advantage...I mean really take advantage...

(She is almost out again)

BOXMAN
You talk alot in your sleep

BIRDY
I do, do I?

BOXMAN
But can you listen in your sleep?

BIRDY
(almost passed out)
I dunno. Let's try

(BIRDY is out snorring)

BOXMAN
You're going to do what you're going to do. But if you change your mind half way down the trap, maybe you can use these to help.

(He has a bag for her. She doesn't have a bag or pocket for him to put it in, so he unbuttons her shirt and drops it inside her blouse. Giggling a little bit while he does).

More Inspirational stuff for PUT MY FINGER IN YOUR MOUTH






Note to Self (and anyone else listening)

I need to remember to listen to good music in the mornings. Would someone please reminder about this thing called listening to music in the mornings?

Country mixed with Classical add Caffeine.

Simple

And.... It wont kill ya

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

PUT MY FINGER IN YOUR MOUTH
Opening of Act 2 - Dream Intermezzo

Dream Intermezzo/Intermission

(This dream is a very tiny dream, so tiny as to need a magnifying glass to see. There is a BIRD riding on the back of a TURTLE. Are they made of cardboard? Are they origami? They are "artificial" in some manner. BIRDY and TURTLE should be in attendance barely a part of the dreamscene though. As if they were maneuvering the tiny little shapes with long thin extensions of wire rod. Somewhere out of sight we can hear the voice of the BOXMAN quietly, gently scatting Rockaby Lullaby)

BIRD
How is it that we became sisters?

TURTLE
We never became sisters. We always were.

BIRD
Well, I wasn't meant for the earth. And you are clearly not meant for the sky. It is a puzzle to me.

TURTLE
You don't remember they way I used to be. It seems so long ago. Sometimes I don't remember either. Inside this shell I am a turtle, but once I used to be a beautiful irreverent bird just like you.

BIRD
Just like me?

TURTLE
I was a little meaner, tougher, little more punk

BIRD
I'll bet you would have made a great bird.

TURTLE
I was selfish though. Looking back I realize there was so much, so much that was my fault.

BIRD
Let me lift you up?

TURTLE
What do mean?

BIRDY
I was thinking I'll grab onto your shell with my claws and then flap my wings and light us up into the blue!

TURTLE
That sounds

BIRDY
Exciting I know right?

TURTLE
I was going to say dangerous

BIRDY
The view from up there is absolutely breathtaking

TURTLE
If I lose my breath, what guarantee do I have i'll ever get it back?

BIRDY
Come on Come on Come out of your shell

TURTLE
I'm too heavy. I can't. I can't

BIRDY
Fine, I'll be back then

(BIRDY tries to fly but a little chain has been attached to her claw, binding her to TURTLE)

BIRD
That isnt very nice sis!

TURTLE
You'll thank me later

BIRD
Later?!! Later when?

TURTLE
After a long happy existence. After having kept your breath after all those years

BIRD
I want to fly

TURTLE
I want to survive

BIRD
Let me out!

TURTLE
No! Come back in!

BIRD
No you come out!

TURTLE
Bird, stay! Stay inside. Play is ok, but stay safe!

(A Big Bad Wolf in Snail "disguise" moves close as they argue. He silently lifts the magnifying glasses that have been used to look at this tiny dream. He opens his jaws wide. Blackout)

Devils Don't Forget Concept Art



Well, it was just a couple short weeks ago that the Mammals closed our most recent production DEVILS DON'T FORGET. I took a little time off, but now I am back to working on creating an online graphic novel of the script. Here we have an concept artwork of Dennis Frymire as Buster.

I am going to start publishing these online this Summer. Hope you enjoy them!

Monday, June 08, 2009

FavoriteThingsThisWeek


Alright this is super cool! A group drawn comic where the artists continually are drawing new beasts and pitting them into battle against each other on the page! Wonderful wonderful stuff!

Road of Knives

Sunday, June 07, 2009

CoolQuote - On Writing

"All writing is launching yourself into the darkness, and hoping for light and a soft landing"

- Paul Theroux

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Lunch and Put My Finger in Your Mouth Thoughts

As I write this, I'm enjoying a little lunch at one of my favorite downtown spots (Timothy O'Tooles). I believe I've finally gotten over my tropical nightmare. Even yesterday, I was still feeling it.

However, Tuesday night was a bit of a restbit from the stress as Right Brain Project read out loud the first act of PUT MY FINGER IN YOUR MOUTH.

How to describe this show? Well, I've been so busy writing it that I haven't given it a ton of thought. I usually can synopsize what I've already written, but when I am in the midst of writing it...I just get this sort of block. I want to resist summarizing the story, I just want to get the whole thing out onto paper. The first act is finished. Alot of fun, alot of sexy, depraved stuff, but also the underpinnigs of classic fairy tale motifs.

There were two tries at preliminary meetings about how to start and what sort of story to tell. The first one was a huge gathering and the scope of potential ideas that were thrown around at that meeting were also equally huge. Everything from mosh pits to company provided day care during dirty sexy fairy tales was added into the mix. It was a wild evening, exciting and crazy notions abounded, but also sort of all over the place. A dozen possible ideas were introduced, but for this specific project only one of them was going to able to be pursued.

Then a second meeting occurred. Nathan and I sat down and started figuring out what sort of story I was going to write for RBP. He had some specifics he wanted the script to have. He wanted it to be a story about a pair of sisters (Stacie Hauenstein and Erin Orr were to play these sisters)... to incorporate a fairy tale sort of story pattern (Joseph Campbell constructs were discussed, Neil Gaimanish etc. etc.). ...and, he wanted it to incorporate a rave setting.

Well, I had all the fixings for the sort of phantasmagoria stew that I kinda like. I still had some concerns though. Firstly was the idea of Fairy Tale. Now everybody (including me) seems to really love fairy tales. IMHO, it is the soup du jour of theatre (perhaps that is unfair. I'm sure someone out there could compose a decent argument that Fairy Tales have been prevalent onstage for quite a while). To my mind fairy tales are all the fashion lately, so how are we going to do it in a way that was significantly different than say House Theatre (Rose and the Rime) or Mary Zimmerman (fairy tales, and myths abound in her work) or Redmoon (where would they be without fairy tales) or TUTA (Maria's Field, BTW one of the best things I've seen so far this year).

After hearing the first act of our show out loud, my concerns about separating ourselves from what I considered to be a flooded 'market' were not so necessary. I couldn't tell you how we got what we have so far, but I can tell you that everything on the page even down to the title of show (which caused both giggles and apprehension) feels like something none of us have seen on the Chicago storefront scene, at least not recently.

This weekend I have to try to get the bulk of the second act on paper, which feels daunting right now (doesn't it frequently feel daunting though?).

BTW auditions are this weekend. If you have seen either a Mammals show or a RBP show and liked what you saw, you really ought to consider coming out to play with us!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Puerto Rico Lessons

(Most of the following was typed out on my G1 while stuck at the San Juan Airport for a second day)

Having to celebrate my 37th birthday at gate 11 in the SanJuan Airport after a total thus far of 12 hours worth of delay/cancellation spread over a 2 day period (deep breath) ... has taught me a couple of things.

First, for the immediate future...I don't worry about whether or not I can handle stress. I've known the power of anxiety, the weight of indefinable fear... I have avoided travel for quite sometime because of fear of just this sort of scenario. But, I am surviving. Aside from listening to hairbrain Republican conspiracy theories about Obama and GM, I think I'm going to make it through this.

Second, if my day job is going to start requiring me to travel, they are going to have to give me a company card. I've travelled too much in the past under threat of not being given sufficient fundage to cover out of town accommodations. I'm still somehow getting by here, but I am down to a hundred dollars due to a billing/front desk error.

Third, I always knew but never quite so powerfully how different things are outside the continental United States. I know Puerto Rico is a territory, but while you are here you really get the sense of entering a different culture, a Caribbean culture... and the culture shock one feels (until they sequester you into the resort you're staying at) must only be a slight portion of the shock one would feel stuck in the airport in Cuba or the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica.

Even if this has been the airport in Anchorage, Alaska, I could have if I wanted to rented a car and started driving south back to Chi-Town. If this had been Miami Florida or San Diego or hell even Mexico City, I could have used roads to get my ass home.

This is one of the most helpless feelings I ever felt. I used to have a dream about visiting Cuba once things settled down between it and the US, but after this devastating (alright there is some hyperbole here, but unless you've been delayed for a flight over 24 hours...you don't know just how bad it is) banana republic adventure... I have trouble considering travel to such a poverty stricken area.

I've flow alot over the past 3-4 years. As a software trainer I had very good luck 25 some flights and never a significant delay. Until this escapade my worse experience was a five hour delay on the plane in Logan. I used to love to travel. I still love the idea of seeing new sights. But could it be that I am getting too old or too set in my ways to want to deal with this sort of unintended adventure?

Influences (still living bold, deceased italics)

It is important to note this isn't a list of folks whose work I like...This is a list of individuals whom I'm able to perceive their influence in what I have created over the last 10 to 12 years

Theatre

Richard Foreman
Maria Irene Fornes
Erik Ehn
Julie Taymor

Harold Pinter
Samuel Beckett
August Strindberg

Mac Wellman
Robert Wilson
Jack Smith
Bread and Puppet

Film

David Lynch
Guy Maddin
Martin Scorsce
Guillermo Del Toro
John Carpenter
Sam Raimi

Tex Avery
Val Lewton
Edgar Ulmer
Sam Fuller

Coffin Joe
K Gordon Murray
George Meiles
Robert Rodriguez
Coen Brothers

Painting/Sculpture

Salvador Dali
Rene Magritte
H Bosch

William Kentridge
Rodin
Bernini
Joseph Cornell
Edward Hopper
Redon
Max Ernst

Kiki Smith
Andy Warhol

many many more to come...

Music

Alfred Schnitke (alive?)
Charles Ives
Pink Floyd
John Coltrane
Handsome Family
John Zorn

Johnny Cash
Stephen Sondheim
Leonard Bernstein
Esquivel

Harry Partch
Bernard Hermann

Literature

Cormac McCarthy
Kurt Vonnegut
Mickey Spilliane
Hermann Hesse
Harry Crews
Jim Thompson
Paul Auster
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Nelson Algren
Studs Terkel

Etgar Keret

Other Media

Frank Miller
Jason
Alan Moore
Keith Olberman

F.T. Marinetti
Howard Zinn
Will Eisner
Mike Mignola
Bill Viola